White House Says It’s Still Seeking Mideast Deal

Protesters wearing masks with Jerusalem’s Dome of the Rock Mosque, participate in a rally against U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem at the capital of Israel. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

ISTANBUL (AP) — The White House says President Donald Trump “remains as committed to peace as ever” after the Palestinians said they would no longer accept a U.S. role in the peace process with Israel.

A senior White House official says such rhetoric “has prevented peace for years” and isn’t surprising. The White House will remain “hard at work putting together our plan, which will benefit the Israeli and Palestinian peoples.”

The official says the Trump administration will unveil the plan “when it is ready and the time is right.”

The White House official spoke on condition of anonymity in advance of an expected public statement.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has criticized Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state, saying the U.S. is no longer fit to serve as mediator. Trump’s declaration broke with an international consensus that Jerusalem’s final status should be decided in direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

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